APP OF THE DAY: VidTrim Pro review (Android)
Video editing was once something of a luxury on mobile devices, but there was less of a need for it because capture was low quality and you never really wanted to do much with it.
Standards have changed. Not only will your smartphone offer you the quality of capture you'd need to show on the big screen, but sharing that content is now also so much easier and prolific that your video might need a little more attention. That's where today's App of the Day comes in.
- Google Play
You can guess what VidTrim Pro does from the name. Yes, it lets you trim your videos, but it does a number of much more important jobs too.
Video editing is becoming something of a standard feature on smartphones. Trimming videos to stick to the action is pretty simple and in some cases it's offered natively by the device, bundled on the likes of HTC handsets for example.
But VidTrim Pro goes beyond that. It will let you perform that trim, with sliders from either end of the video, if that's what you need to do, but it will also let you transcode video - ie, change the quality and the resolution - as well as grab frames to use as images and apply effects.
All of these things make VidTrim Pro a respectable package of editing tools, perhaps the only other thing we'd have like to have seen is something to stitch clips together to cut into a sequence, even at a basic level, but perhaps that will come in the future.
Opening the app lists the video files available to you. After selecting the file you want to edit, you'll be taken to a screen with all the options and all the video details, including the frame rate, bit rate, resolution, file size and so on.
Trimming is simply a case of moving the sliders and hitting the icon, when you're presented with the option to trim the original or save a new clip. It's a small but sensible detail as it means your edits don't have to be destructive because you can preserve the original as it was.
The transcoder is the part that interests us the most in reality. If you're in the habit of capturing everything in HD, but want to share a video quickly, you might want to step down the resolution and the quality to make it faster to send, or to adhere to file size restrictions imposed by some sites or services.
This is where your smartphone will have to perform, however, as it's a processor-intensive task. We found that some lower-spec Android devices wouldn't complete the process, but the latest quad-core devices have no problems, they just get a little hot and chew through some battery.
The time it takes depends on the power of your phone and the original file size. The only thing we'd like to see in the transcode section is some suggestion of the resultant file size, to make it easier to decide exactly how much you want to downscale your video.
The frame grabber will let you pick a frame from each second, so if you need a display thumbnail or want to share the exact moment something funny happens then you're all covered.
The effects (FX) option will let you change the style of your video, very much as you can with photo editors. The options include things like black and white, negative and posterise, but the interesting one for us was SwapUV, which seems to make faces blue. If you want everyone to look like a Smurf, that's your setting.
Finally you have sharing options, which uses the normal Android selection.
All in all, VidTrim Pro is a convenient app that gets on with basic tasks that your smartphone might not offer. If you've found yourself wishing you'd recorded something in a lower resolution because it's taking ages to post to Facebook, then this is the app for the job.
It costs £1.76, but it's a price we're happy to pay. There's a free ad-supported version that offers the trimming and sharing features.